News

Japan half-speed mastered 2LP vinyl reissues coming later in 2018

Gentlemen Take Polaroids (1980) and Tin Drum (1981) – Japan‘s last two albums (as Japan) – will be reissued later this year as Abbey Road Half-Speed mastered 2LP vinyl editions.

Steve Jansen revealed this information on on Twitter yesterday and posted a couple of images of the track listings which appear to confirm (two tracks per side!) that both will be 45RPM pressings, like the similar Brian Eno releases of last year.

These haven’t been officially announced, so no pre-orders as yet. A twitter follower of Jansen’s replied to his message by saying “To include the original version of ‘Some Kind Of Fool’ on Gentlemen Take Polaroids would make it a hit album again.” Steve responded by saying “These reissues are entirely faithful to the artists intentions for the original releases and only differ in that they are mastered by a process that gives complete priority to audio quality for vinyl, unlike the originals.”

More news on this when we have it. Here’s a link to Abbey Road mastering engineer Miles Showell talking about the half-speed mastering process. Below are details taken from the ‘OBI’ strip of the forthcoming vinyl reissues.

Update: these are now available to pre-order. See details below (the single 33RPM editions aren’t half-speed).

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Japan

Gentlemen Take Polaroids - 45RPM 2LP half-speed mastered

Shop Price gbp Stock
Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 25.29
Amazon de 6LP coloured vinyl box 27.98
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 29.92
Amazon fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 32.74
Amazon it 6LP coloured vinyl box 29.9
Amazon es 6LP coloured vinyl box 31.99
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 41.95
JPC de 6LP coloured vinyl box 27.99
HMV uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 29.99
Currency:

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Japan

Gentlemen Take Polaroids - 33RPM single LP remaster

Shop Price gbp Stock
Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 17.58
Amazon de 6LP coloured vinyl box 16.8
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 20.4
Amazon fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 17.49
Amazon it 6LP coloured vinyl box 22.91
Amazon es 6LP coloured vinyl box 19.5
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 27.87
JPC de 6LP coloured vinyl box 21.99
HMV uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 20.99
Currency:

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Japan

Tin Drum - 45RPM 2LP half-speed mastered

Shop Price gbp Stock
Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 25.29
Amazon de 6LP coloured vinyl box 27.98
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 32.82
Amazon fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 30.72
Amazon it 6LP coloured vinyl box 26.91
Amazon es 6LP coloured vinyl box 31.99
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 38.8
JPC de 6LP coloured vinyl box 27.99
HMV uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 29.99
Currency:

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Japan

Tin Drum - 33RPM single LP remaster

Shop Price gbp Stock
Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 17.41
Amazon de 6LP coloured vinyl box 16.6
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 19.4
Amazon fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 17.49
Amazon it 6LP coloured vinyl box 22.91
Amazon es 6LP coloured vinyl box 18.89
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 29
JPC de 6LP coloured vinyl box 21.99
HMV uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 20.99
Currency:

Gentlemen Take Polaroids 2 x 45 RPM half-speed mastered

Side A
1 Gentlemen Take Polaroids

2 Swing

Side B
1 Burning Bridges

2 My New Career

Side C
1 Methods of Dance

2 Ain’t That Peculiar

Side D
1 Night Porter

2 Taking Islands In Africa

Tin Drum 2 x 45 RPM half-speed mastered

Side A
1 Art of Parties

2 Talking Drum

Side B
1 Ghosts

2 Canton

Side C
1 Still Life

2 Visions of China

Side D
1 Sons of Pioneers

2 Cantonese Boy

85 responses to Japan half-speed mastered 2LP vinyl reissues coming later in 2018

  1. Andy says:

    Lots of complaints on the Internet about GTP Disk 2 being warped and an issue on Burning Bridges.
    Anybody having issues?

  2. Patrick says:

    A couple of people mention they would like all Japans commercially music released on CD. It is available. In terms of other stuff. Rumour has it that Sylvian blocked a proposed BBC archive release a few years back. As I don’t own a high end stereo at present it is hard to get excited about these. The ‘Some Kind of Fool’ issue could have been resolved if there were will to do so by including it as a bonus 7 ich so as not to break the flow of the original release.

  3. Pingback:Japan half-speed mastered vinyl sets available to pre-order | superdeluxeedition

  4. Garry says:

    Sylvian himself has just tweeted to say that both of these albums will be available as single LP 33rpm / 180g editions.

  5. Paul says:

    To people saying they want more, I agree, but Universal and Sony need convincing that there is an audience for more Japan related reissues. If these sell well it is more likely that we will see some of the things fans would like happen. It is easy to assume that it is the former members that are blocking releases but it is not necessarily the case – the companies need to believe that releases can be profitable.

    I’m predicting that Polaroids may sell more than Tin Drum as it consistently wins “fan favourite” polls, and it has not had a vinyl reissue at all wheras Tin Drum has. Ideally both will do well which will encourage more interesting releases. Good news that Sylvian’s official site has been reactivated in recent days with mention of new releases as well as reissues.

  6. Michael says:

    I will be tempted by these, depending on the price point. Great sounding albums, both, so I’d be curious to hear them get this treatment.

  7. SimonP says:

    Not entirely comprised of tracks from these two Virgin albums, but it’d be great if the BBC live LP got a proper release. The sound quality is pretty good and the version of European Son is really different from the single.

  8. Renato says:

    I really want all the commercially released tracks to be made available on CD, as well as the original version of Some Kind of Fool. It wouldn’t really matter if they chose to release deluxe editions of the albums or a compilation of non-album tracks, single versions, remixes, etc.
    There are also lots of David Sylvian’s solo tracks missing from the remastered versions of his solo albums. It’s kinda frustrating to be a Japan/Sylvian fan… come to think of it, Everything and Nothing was a very appropriate name for his Virgin years compilation. It does give us access to some stuff, but denies much more. I know it’s his/their way of working, but it can get a little tiresome at times. So, please, David, Steve and Richard, if you’re reading this, please consider the possibility of releasing some CDs compiling those elusive non-album tracks.

  9. Michael G says:

    Why don’t the powers that be issue a Japan Box Set Cd and Vinyl of all the albums.
    Half speed mastering is just another money grab and people keep falling for it.

  10. Fintap says:

    The ending of “Gentlemen…” ..Nightporter and Taking Islands In Africa…these 12 minutes of bliss always takes me away somewhere..don’t know where..but i’m always thrilled.. Definitely on shopping list..

    • Chris Squires says:

      Agreed, the opening two of GtP are quite impressive as well.

      It’s why Exorcising Ghosts is my most listened to compilation by any artist, I tend to avoid them but the opening trio on side 1 of Methods, Swing and Polaroids can just transport you to another place. Followed of course by Quiet Life it is just about the most perfect side of Vinyl. If they had swapped out Quiet Life for Nightporter there would be no question. perfection

      • Michael says:

        The vinyl edition of Exorcising Ghosts is great. That should be reissued, itself. It compiles their best work so nicely and has some nice rarities.

  11. Michael McA says:

    2 great albums – GTP has the edge for me – a great band – Mick Karn was a one-off – great musicians – and Sylvian has produced astonishingly beautiful music since then which seems to have been ignored by the ‘great’ majority.
    I do think someone is now taking the piss with this 2 tracks a side business. It was a big enough faff getting up to change the record after 20 odd minutes – all those years ago! – one of the plus points in favour of CDs.

    This vinyl snobbery will soon past.

  12. P. E. says:

    Excellent news. Two top class albums form the early 1980’s. Shame they aren’t doing all five of the studio albums.

  13. mkr says:

    My original vinyl releases of these are in excellent shape and sound fine to me. Reading through the comments here, I had completely forgotten about the poster in Tin Drum. A quick check, and yes! mine is still there. Although I prefer vinyl, I really dislike having to flip the disc every two songs. So I think I’ll skip these. I also bought the excellent deluxe CD editions of Gentlemen, Tin Drum, Oil on Canvas, Rain Tree Crow back in 2003. I do NOT own Rain Tree Crow on vinyl and would love a new 33 1/3 edition of that.

    • SimonP says:

      To expand your point there, a couple of the 2003 reissues featured 2 CDs when everything contained within them would’ve fitted on a single disc…

  14. Isaías says:

    Someone said Rain Tree Crow is the best Japan album but it’s a sided project instead !!!!!!

    • Neil says:

      It is Japan but under a different name. As for it being their best album it’s ok but nowhere near as good as Quiet Life, Gentlemen and Tin Drum.

    • Chris Squires says:

      Pish! How can you say RTC is a side project?
      a) It contains all 4 original members of the band and the 4 that finished the band.
      b) It follows exactly where Japan would have gone.

      IF, and I don’t think it is, IF it is to be classed as a side project then it is the least “Side Projecty” side project that any band has ever had…ever.

      Personally I have never, ever thought of Rain Tree Crow as anything other than Japan.

      • Alone With Strangers says:

        It isn’t Japan if Robert isn’t in it.

        • Chris Squires says:

          I hardly ever think of Japan as having Rob Dean in it at all.

          The rather wonderful book I read last year went into a lot of depth and Rob came out as quite peripheral, at both the beginning and the end of days.

          I know you could almost say the same about the others as nobody got a real look in at the creative side but David.

          If you ranked contributions he would be 5th and was barely around for Polaroids and gone by Tin Drum. But he did come across as a really sound bloke and didn’t kick up much of a fuss because the direction the band were going didn’t float his boat anyway. It’s not often someone gets “kicked” out of a band and he stays better mates with the band than the other members are with each other.

          • Craig Hamlin says:

            Rob Dean … peripheral ?? Hardly. He`s all over the first three albums and plays some excellent guitar on Polaroids .

          • Alone With Strangers says:

            Well said Craig.

            Chris: Robert was not peripheral and, contrary to the stories, was around for nearly all of the recording of Gentlemen Take Polaroids. I assume the book you refer to is Anthony Reynolds’ ‘A Foreign Place’ which is broadly accurate but I don’t see how you got to the conclusion you have from reading it.

            And as for ranking him ‘5th’, I think that their musical contributions aside are pretty evens up until GTP and ranking in that way could even be seen as somewhat offensive.

            IMO

      • Frank Palumbo says:

        RTC is not a Japan album by virtue of
        * a host of other non original member side musicians invited onboard via Sylvian
        * Sylvian’s own “hijacking” of the record per his own and brother’s account

        More a Sylvian / solo vehicle vs. the Sylvian / Japan vehicle.

    • Kevin says:

      Rain Tree Crow was most definitely not a side project. In one interview in a Japanese magazine, when asked a question about the name of the project, either Barbieri or Jansen insisted it was the 6th Japan album. The magazine even used it as a pull quote.

      Also, half-speed mastering is not a gimmick. I remember a local FM station in early 1981 spent one week featuring half-speed mastered editions on their nightly album hour. The music as broadcast sounded better than the standard editions of the same LPs in my collection.

      Combining the 45 rpm speed with half-speed mastering, on the other hand, strikes me as very gimmicky. Either approach on its own would improve sound quality.

    • HalloweenJack says:

      Re: Rain Tree Crow aka JAPAN

      “It depends on how you view a band…”

      David Sylvian interview, Royal Ontario Museum, Canada 1993
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gp6929s9NEs
      01:57 – 06:55

      • Chris Hanington says:

        Great interview…brings back great memories as I had the opportunity to meet David that day. Virgin had a “wine and cheese” meet and greet with about 10 people. It was an amazing evening. He graciously signed my Weather Box for me and posed for a few pictures. He is up there with Bowie in my opinion. Any release from David or Japan is most welcomed!

      • SimonP says:

        “It depends how you view a band”

        Just watched this. It seems to me that the record company, Mick, Steve and Richard all viewed it as a Japan reunion and David didn’t. Result: they split up again…

        • Chris Squires says:

          It must be so frustrating to be a band member, not just Japan but many other bands, and in need of a few Bob for the pension fund as you hurtle towards your 60s only to find that the most bankable member of the band decides that he has too much “Artistic Integrity” or is so individually wealthy that he doesn’t need the money and makes a decision that will cost you thousands.

          It has Poirot or Miss Marple written all over it as Monsieur Karn delivers the fatal blow in the library with the pottery statue…..”I did it for the money”. In fact I think there was definitely a Death in Paradise AND a DCI Banks based on pretty much the same premise, the internal struggles of an ageing band.

          Lets face it who wouldn’t want a late in the day windfall, one that would hurt if a family member made decisions that would deny it to you. Particularly if it was something as seemingly petty as the name of the band, the name that you had all been associated with for about 15 or 16 years at that point

  15. James Lindsay says:

    I don’t usually go for half speeds only because I canni be bothered getting up an doon to change the record over, but will be getting these, I love this site for all the information I get from either Paul’s features or from the other readers of the site and their comments ✌️

  16. Daan says:

    I would also welcome a half speed mastered vinyl reissue of Rain Tree Crow, the name under which Japan reunited in 1991 and released the epinomous album.

    • HalloweenJack says:

      Rain Tree Crow is the best album by Japan ;)
      … and yes, a half speed mastered vinyl issue of that particular album would very much be welcomed!

  17. Steven says:

    How wonderful both of these albums are, blowing us all away at the time of their releases.

    Imagine if they gave these the high def blu-ray treatment, coupled with 5.1 remixed versions, perhaps along with the Oil on Canvas. I can’t see such a thing ever happening but just imagine it for a moment…

    How magic that would be.

    • Daveyman19 says:

      I agree Steven about 5.1 mixes but it will never happen – the master multi-tracks for Tin Drum had been badly stored and damaged in a flood, so they are lost forever so the story goes from Virgin/EMI. As for Gentlemen Take Polaroids i’m not sure what the status of the original multi-tracks is, but would be amazing if they were done to a 5.1 mix someday.

      • Alone With Strangers says:

        Actually it was Steve Jansen that said they were destroyed in a flood. However, any record company worth their salt would have also kept a security copy.

    • Tom of FIN says:

      Is it really so, that no “extras” were ever recorded during the heyday with Quiet Life album too considered. Nothing in vaults not published? Although Japan’s single B-sides often LP songs and hardly any different mixes either.

      Hard to believe a proper deluxe box without ordinary live, demos etc. usually irrelevant bonuses would not be possible.

    • Casho says:

      2.1 everyday of the week

  18. Bryan says:

    I adore “Tin Drum”, but I think I’ll stick to the original Virgin pressing with free poster. Oh, and the CD box set, which is gorgeous. I’d definitely have bought this I’d they were clear virgin vinyl.

  19. Nigel Day says:

    I’ll probably get Polaroid’s as that’s good.

    Tin Drum is painful

  20. Steve F says:

    Most of these Abbey Road half-speed masters sound great but only come with mp3 downloads, which is hardly audiophile-friendly. The Eurythmics and Tori Amos LPs were done by the same team, with lossless doanloads and without the Obi strip and certificate, at roughly half the price.

    Kudos for the choice of music though. I really don’t want another pressing of Rumours/Brothers In Arms/etc.

    So, yes, I’ll be getting them – but I fear a slightly missed opportunity again (D/L-wise) and probably a bit over-priced.

  21. Omar says:

    This is good news. There’s been no Japan reissue activity for a while now. I would love to see a comprehensive anthology of the band’s work. There’s sufficient material in terms of remixes alternate versions etc to fill up 2 cds i think.

    • Koen Kroeze says:

      Just a thought…

      Gentlemen Take Polaroids
      Deluxe Edition – CD2

      1. Some Kind Of Fool

      2. Gentlemen Take Polaroids (7” Version)
      3. The Experience Of Swimming
      4. The Width Of A Room
      5. Burining Bridges (7” Version)

      6. Swing (Promo Edit)

      7. Nightporter (7” Version – Remixed by Steve Nye)
      8. Ain’t That Peculiar (Alternate Version)
      9. Nightporter (12” Version – Remixed by Steve Nye)

      10. Taking Islands In Africa (Remix)

      11. Swing (Old Grey Whistle Test)
      12. My New Career (Old Grey Whistle Test)

      • Rob G says:

        Great idea for a second CD Koen!
        Wasn’t there going to be a Dance Mix of Swing? Did it ever get done?

  22. poptones says:

    Excellent idea. Last year, I found Brian Eno’s Before and After Scienc Half-Speed LP on sale at a huge bargain price (10 euros) so I bought it. Very nice half speed mastering.

    I’m a big big fan of David Sylvian so I’d rather see his solo albums get this treatment first but it’s a good idea to start with Japan’s Tin Drum & Gentlemen Take Polaroids.

    It’s not directly relevant but I bought the RSD release of Dead Bees on a Cake and I was waiting for a vinyl release for that album so quite happy it was released for RSD. Now I’m waiting for the superb compilation Everything and Nothing to be released on vinyl. I hope it will happen soon.

    For those interested about half speed mastering, check this interesting article on Universal’s web site, it includes an interview of Abbey Road engineer Miles Showell :
    https://www.udiscovermusic.com/halfspeed/

  23. ANDREW r says:

    A nice vinyl box with a deluxe book, if any group could turn out something stylish
    this group could! ( any david sylvian involvement?)

  24. Larry D says:

    Thats great! What more: here is a new John Foxx – Metamatic 3 CD box set:

    https://johnfoxx.tmstor.es/cart/product.php?id=36729

    Arrived today. It looks and sounds great! Well the postcards are kinda…weird%)

    • Cliff says:

      Yeah loving this 3cd release.
      One particular track I was given years ago – no title but really rated it but it was unreleased.
      Now I’ve got it – and it’s being played A LOT!

    • Trash says:

      Yep got mine today too.
      Really love the whole package except for one thing:
      I’m finding the small, white text against the sliver background in the booklet a real strain on my eyes (maybe it’s just my age).

      Haven’t delved into the actual music yet but I love the album (I probably have about three versions on vinyl and four versions on CD – really hope I wont have to buy any more :-) ).

  25. Paul Anthony says:

    It’s interesting to see people mentioning bonus tracks; if you subscribe to one of the decent Japan FB sites (which Richard Barbieri and Rob Dean both contribute) or Steve Jansen’s Sleepyard site, they’ve all posted previously that there’s just no more material in the form of unreleased studio tracks, early versions or demos. This saddens me somewhat, given that as a working musician, playing original material, you just record everything constantly so as just to remember what you’ve played.

    That said, I for one would love to see a reissue of Obscure Alternatives coupled with a disc of the rest of the gig that made up the 12″ 4-track Live In Tokyo show (I could die happy then), but both Rich and Rob have said there’s no virtual vault stacked high with dusty reel to reels or cassettes.

  26. SimonP says:

    Meh. As others have said, these need proper re-releases, not vanilla-flavoured vinyl ones. I’d love to see the Quiet Life triple vinyl from a few years back get a CD release and for these two to get a similar treatment. I still have a great affection for vinyl, but I have no desire to purchase it, unless there is exclusive content available within. There were enough alternative versions and edits tucked away on the GTP singles and their B sides to expand the album very nicely…

  27. Brian F says:

    Should have been a single LP..Not a fan of stretching a single LP into a double. Eno’s LP’s came out recently as single LP’s again, I wonder if they will do the same for Japan?

  28. Isaías says:

    Ups! Sorry! Correcting the mistakes.

    I totally agree with pinkfloyd and as these reissue in vinyl (which isn’t my thing) coming in I deeply wish to see finally the whole Japan’s albums as deluxe editions with all the missing material we die hard fans are waiting for so long. Needless to say there’s planty of them! Since David Silvian (word has it) seem don’t mind about the old Japan stuffs I bag Steve Jansen to do the job. What a great opportunity to do the right thing this time. I hope Universal puts all of the missing material out from the shelves and make it available.

    IT MUST HAVE BEEN DONE ALREADY !!!
    COME ON STEVE JANSEN !!!
    COME ON UNIVERSAL !!!

    Hope is the last to die.

  29. RJS says:

    Audiophiles do suffer in their quest for audio perfection. Paying a premium for the flow of an album to be interrupted three times… I’ll settle for a CD any day and from my own evidence over the past ten years or so, remastering ain’t always all it’s cracked up to be.

  30. Isaías says:

    I totally agree with pinkfloyd and as these reissue in vinyl (which isn’t my thing) I deeply wish to see finelly the whole Japan’s albums as deluxe editions with all the missing material que die hard fans are waiting for so long. Needless to say there’s planty of them! Since David Silvian (word has it) seems don’t mind about the old Japan stuffs I bagger Steve Jansen do the job. What a great opportunity to do the right thing this time. I hope Universal puts all of the missing material out from the shelves and make it available.

    IT MUST HAVE BEEN DONE ALREADY !!!
    COME ON STEVE JANSEN !!!
    COME ON UNIVERSAL !!!

    Hope is the last to die.

  31. xymox970 says:

    As much as I love this album (Tin Drum), its worth noting that the original UK vinyl edition V2209 already sounds excellent and for those unable to obtain a NM copy, there was the 2014 180g Back-To-Black edition that got great reviews on certain audio forums and is still freely available, so the question is…….is there a market for a new 2LP addition without any additional material ?

    • Alone With Strangers says:

      FYI the 2014 release is a different master to the original. IMO it does sound better largely because some limiting was applied to the original pressing.

      Everything else being equal & assuming you don’t play this back on a cheap Ion deck (other cheap as chips but equally rubbish turntables are available) this pressing should sound even better with a wider dynamic range.

  32. HalloweenJack says:

    Great news! Looking forward to hearing this pressing of “Tin Drum”.

  33. Chris Bernhardt says:

    They should have added Rain Tree Crow. I would buy that in a heartbeat. I love Japan and have all the records on 80’s Japanese vinyl . I’m kind of split on the Abby Road series. I really liked my Police copy, but was disappointed in the Eno’s .

  34. luciano moraes says:

    Is this type or remaster so much better then the other ones?

  35. Paul says:

    Paul, are the sleeve images just for illustrative purposes? The Tin Drum one is the revised layout used for the 2006 CD release.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Yes, is the answer. These vinyl reissues will presumably stay consistent with the very original releases.

  36. Liam Bastick says:

    Talking of “value” and comprehensive track listings, Japan did something a while back I have not seen to the same extent elsewhere: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000006ZHI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 .

    This was a greatest hits / singles album with a difference – it was their singles and if the song(s) were re-released or reissued, it was put on each time. If memory serves me right, “Life inn Tokyo” appears EIGHT times, although not all are the same version!

    • Auntie Sabrina says:

      Yes, this includes all their Hansa A and B sides. As you say, there are various versions of Life In Tokyo in all it’s glory, remix, part 1, theme etc…

  37. Paul says:

    These sound fantastic (have been lucky to hear the test pressings). Polaroids hasn’t been available new on vinyl since the late 1980s and this pressing is far superior to any except possibly the original Japanese, if you can find a mint one.
    Methods Of Dance sounds particularly good, better than its appearance as the b-side on the 12″ of Nightporter (the only comparable pressing). The pressing is so good that on “Swing” I thought something was off towards the very end of the track (a wonky sounding synth) but I was assured it was fine and when checking against another pressing it was there, but I hadn’t noticed before as the vinyl on the old pressing wasn’t as clear.

    Tin Drum also sounds great but this album nearly always sounds good in any format, thanks to the care taken with the original production and mix, and we have had high quality vinyl reissues of it in recent years.

    Would be nice to have a re-structured Exorcising Ghosts at some point to include all of the Virgin era b-sides and alternate versions that aren’t available at the moment. This band didn’t release anything they weren’t happy with (at least from 1980 onwards) so all are worth a re-appraisal.

    • Mark says:

      Paul
      Do you have any info about the record sleeves please? I’m sort of assuming the 2lp 45rpm versions will be gatefold sleeves (including some new artwork?) and the 1lp 33rpm versions will be exact replicas of the original vinyl releases?
      Regards
      Mark

  38. Daveyman19 says:

    As any Japan fan will know, any release (or re-release) is welcome for one of the best and vastly underrated bands of the late 70’s / early 80’s.

    As always the want for unreleased tracks or demo’s etc is always unheeded, but as all Japan fans will now there was never a surfeit of rare or unreleased work anyway from the band – most songs were rehearsed so much that by the time they were recorded they didnt do a demo version.

    That said, a similar re-issue on 45rpm vinyl of the earlier 78-80 Hansa years albums would be more than welcome, and there’s a bit more in terms of additional tracks that could be included from this period.

    Looking forward to these releases though, i hear good things about the quality and depth of clarity from the pressings for both albums, which deserve to be re-appraised.

  39. Steve W says:

    I’m a big Japan fan and would love a new vinyl copy but I honestly can’t be bothered with the halfspeed releases that spilt the album over two vinyl records.

  40. Garry says:

    I’m quite fanatical about this band – but not sure what to make of these.

    Another band I’m quite fanatical about are Saint Etienne. I got the Saint Etienne half-speed remaster of Foxbase Alpha last year and – as good as it is (let’s face it – it’s Saint Etienne – their attention to detail is almost unparalleled) – it’s just not quite as good as my original pressing – dunno, seems to hit a ‘frequency wall’ or something (I’m no expert, just saying it how I hear it).

    I also like to sit down and not have to change the sides every 9 minutes – which is the case here with Tin Drum. Hmmmmmm – and bizarrely I’m still slightly tempted, but I’d like more info on what masters they used – as long as it’s not the digital remastering that was used for the 2003 editions.

    Sorry for moaning – but when you hear the difference, you really hear the difference.

    • Michael says:

      Garry, I feel the same way. I bought Brian Eno’s “Here Come the Warm Jets” and “Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)” — both half-speed 45 RPM 2 record sets mastered at Abbey Road Studios. I played them, and subsequently played my original Eno vinyl records of the same albums. Honestly, I could not detect much, if any improvement. As a further comparison, I followed up by playing my remastered CDs of these two Eno albums, and discovered that they had more clarity, detail and bottom end then the original and latter audiophile pressing of these two records. Aside from that, like you, I found it a bit annoying to have to jump up and flip the record over every 9 minutes. The flow and concept of these two artful albums work better with all the songs on side one and side two played in sequence without disruption IMHO. Japan’s “Tin Drum” is one of my favourite albums from that time period, but I’m hesitant to pay a premium price for this reissued record for reasons aforementioned.

    • probablyrustin says:

      Interesting that you call Saint Etienne’s attention to detail “unparalleled.” Maybe when it comes to thinking up releases, but as for actual quality control, they’re *notorious* for the many mistakes that slip into their releases. Long threads have detailed the many errors littering their deluxe edition series – glitches, vinyl rips, wrong pitch/speed, chopped tracks randomly spliced onto other discs, direct copies from old CD masters touted as “remastered,” missing b-sides, etc. So excuse me if your comment comes off as a joke…

  41. Trash says:

    Two of my favourite albums…
    Will have to get these (my wallet is taking such a battering this year!). The Eno ones do sound excellent although it is a pain having to get up and turn the records over so frequently :-)

    As for Some Kind of Fool – I too would love to hear the original version but I guess it will never be…

    By the way Paul – any news about the much-rumoured Scritti Politti reissues (apparently vinyl and expanded CDs are due from Rough Trade but I cant find any info so maybe it is just wishful thinking).

    • xymox970 says:

      I would also be very interested to know whats the status with those Scritti Politti reissues……

  42. pinkfloyd says:

    now how about reissue a proper 2cd deluxe remaster for GTP & TD?
    & why not also a 2cd remaster for Quiet Life as well, heck do all 5 of their albums and throw in Oil On Canvas plus outtakes & Exorcising Ghost as a proper 2CD compilation, shall we?

  43. Chris Squires says:

    Now these are two albums that I grew up with. The first time I had really moved away from obsessing about Mike Oldfield and Kate Bush. I absolutely know both albums inside out, every word, every note, every hesitation…only made worse when I got the VHS video.

    So I am torn in two.

    Thrilled that they are getting this high class treatment. If they are as good as my Abba half speeds then it’ll be stunning.

    BUT disappointed that this is as Vanilla as Vanilla can be. Aaargh I don’t know whether to be happy or sad. Would I prefer this or something akin to the Quiet Life re-issue with 15 bonus tracks or Obcsure Alternatives with Live material on top of remixes.

    I guess live material is unnecessary as we have Oil on Canvas and this era Japan were not big on major remixes and David was such a control freak that demos were not needed.

    So other than the aforementioned what is there to add. A couple of b-sides (The Experience of Swimming / Width of a Room etc). Some extended versions….some single edits….

    Hmmmm. Splinters.

  44. Charles K says:

    Probably the only albums I would pony up money for in half speed. I’m a little shocked that they were chosen for this series next, wallet ready.

  45. Andrew F says:

    The news is welcome, as all of the studio albums have received a re-release with the exception of Gentlemen Take Polaroids.

    I wonder if we’ll ever get to hear the original recording of Some Kind of Fool, which finally saw the light of day on the Sylvian retrospective in 2000 with re-recorded vocals and revised lyrics.

    • Alone With Strangers says:

      I think you’ll be waiting until Sylvian has shuffled off the mortal coil before that gets released.

      • joemesk says:

        i have bought the 3 LP Brian Eno half speed and played in my clearaudio turntable
        and i feel cheated because there is no ” superior” quality in the sound in this format , just a way of making me pay again for the same lps

        never again

        i ll stick to japan edition and sacd ,

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